“#Christmas decor is now going up in early November”
Early November ushered in a summer-like heatwave to the East Coast, along with 9-foot trees, nativity scenes and Christmas villages as the pandemic jumpstarted the holiday season.
Stressed-out Santa enthusiasts say these unseasonable trimmings provide them with some much-needed cheer — even if the neighbors think they’re crazy.
“I’m going to be the only one on the block — and proud of it,” said Lani Savage, a 39-year-old mom of two from Mineola, LI, of her holiday decor. “I pulled everything out the day after Halloween. I was always the person who didn’t want to rush the holidays. I always said, ‘How can anyone decorate before Thanksgiving?’ But now I don’t care. It’s a beautiful distraction and something to look forward to.”
Her son Curtis, 5, was happy to play Santa’s helper. “Is Christmas coming soon?” he asked his mom, who explained, “We’re just getting a head start.”
Black Friday usually heralds the Christmas season, but this year, the start has come several weeks early. On Nov. 1, actress January Jones posted an Instagram of herself cradling a Santa decoration in front of a stocking-strewn fireplace daring followers to “judge away.”
Westhampton mom Chelsea Surgan also replaced the Halloween bats dotting her mantle with Christmas stockings on the first day of the month.
“Christmas is my favorite time of year,” she said. “I wanted all the positive feelings. I felt like we could all just use a little extra joy this year.”
For Surgan, who is five months pregnant with her second child, decking the halls has taken her mind off of not being able to socialize the past few months. Her husband was initially skeptical of the untimely tinsel, but “with me being pregnant, he wasn’t going to say no,” she said with a laugh.
Jenn Maringione was still in her summer clothes when she decked out her Suffolk County home with a lit-up ceramic Christmas village on her entryway table, snow globes in the bathrooms, and an 8-foot faux tree and a 6-foot-tall singing Santa in her living room.
“The tree is lit, and we were in shorts yesterday, but we don’t care,” said the 33-year-old mom of three whose husband is a police officer.
“This year, after everything, you just want to appreciate the little things. Maybe it’s a little crazy, but there’s not a lot of normalcy this year, and this made it feel a little normal.”
One benefit to getting a jump on jollying up the house is basking in the beauty for the whole season. “I feel like you work so hard to decorate for Christmas to only enjoy it for such a short period,” said Lauren Conway, 29, who has put up wreaths, garlands and lights. “No rules 2020,” she added.
Even Christmas traditionalist Joanne Mckeon is breaking the rules.
Her parents’ Great Neck home was showcased by local news in the ’80s for their elaborate decorations, which included a full-size sleigh and reindeer suspended in the air. But this year, she’s stringing lights early for the first time.
“Two thousand twenty has had a lot of downs, and luckily, all of us are alive and well,” the 50-something from Hicksville, LI, said. “The weather happened to be great this week, and we thought, ‘Why not?’
“We have been playing Christmas music in the house day and night to feel the magic of Christmas,” she said. “It doesn’t have to be December to feel that Christmas love.”
Maringione, for one, is thrilled her decor is spreading joy. “The UPS guy lit up when he came by,” she said. “He said, ‘You literally put a smile on my face.’ “
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